Fast and specific dermatophyte detection by automated DNA extraction and real-time PCR

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The aim of this study was to develop and validate a rapid and sensitive real-time PCR method for detection of all known species of dermatophytes, including identification of Trichophyton rubrum and Trichophyton interdigitale. Fungal DNA was extracted directly from clinical samples by using a pre-lysis step, followed by automated DNA extraction on the MagNA Pure Compact. In total, 202 clinical samples were examined by both conventional culture and by the new PCR method. In 103 (51%) of the samples fungal nucleic acid was detected by PCR, while only 79 (39%) were found to be positive by culture. Out of 103 PCR-positive clinical samples, 94 (91%) were identified as T. rubrum and eight (8%) as T. interdigitale. This real-time PCR is far more sensitive and 2–4 weeks faster than conventional culture for detection of dermatophytes present in clinical samples.

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